Monday, April 27, 2009


By Jay Levan, WPPA/T102 News Director

Day one of testimony has wrapped up in the case of Commonwealth vs Donchak and Piekarsky at the Schuylkill County Courthouse. The final witness called this afternoon was Joseph Benjamin Lawson, an 18 year old friend of the accused and was present on that July evening when Luis Ramirez was beaten. According to Lawson's testimony, Donchak was going to get alcohol for the teens to consume early that night. After consuming the alcohol, the group of boys went to the Polish American block party, then came upon Ramirez and 15 year old Roxanne Rector at the Vine Street playground. Lawson said that Colin Walsh was the one that questioned Rector about being out so late, and the first of three melee's ensued. Assistant District Attorney questioned Lawson at length about his testimony at the preliminary hearing and subsequent meetings with the FBI. Upon cross examination, Piekarsky's attorney Fred Fanelli tried to uncover differences in Lawson's testimony. It was also learned that Lawson testified in front of a grand jury at Federal Court in Scranton about the events of July 12th. Court adjourned for the day at 5pm and will resume at 9am Tuesday.


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